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Elden Ring appears to use a fairly distinct formula for when you can be invaded by other players. If I understand the Fextralife wiki page on PvP correctly, you can only be invaded by a player if:

  • You're currently in a co-op session, and not already invaded (because the invader cap is normally 1).
  • You're already being invaded, and you used a taunter's tongue to raise the invader cap to 2.
  • You used a taunter's tongue to invite invaders even without co-op.

Naturally engaging in a duel also involves other players, but I'm less concerned about that scenario since I have to manually engage in it.

It's pretty clear to me that inviting another human player for co-op via a summon sign will open me up to invasion, but what's not clear for me is this: does summoning an NPC for co-op open me up to invaders? For example, if I summon Nepheli Loux for assistance, am I liable to be invaded by a player?

I ask this mainly prompted by the discovery of a new invader exploit on PC. I'd like to stay in online mode, but I want to know when I'm opening myself up to an exploit so that I can ensure my saves are backed up before someone messes with them.

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As far as I know no.
But I've got no sources to prove it's true (though I've tested it if the invaders can join my world with the kind help of Nepheli at the Godrick's area, after 10 mins no invader invaded me - not sure if it's luck or connectivity issues). So, take my answer with grain of a salt.

Luckily, almost all of NPC signs are at right before the boss area, or even inside of the boss area, so quickly enter the boss area, so that the invaders can't invade you.

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  • The independent research is definitely appreciated! That puts me at a bit more ease. Mar 22, 2022 at 2:05
  • I have seen a number of "invasion streamers" on twitch have to fight both the host and an NPC, usuallyNnepheli in Stormveil. I think this needs more reseach. Mar 22, 2022 at 12:51
  • @nightsurfer Could possibly the host used the taunter's tongue, but I'll test it later.
    – Skye-AT
    Mar 22, 2022 at 15:37
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No. Using NPC summons are fine and safe. NPC do not use net code, or turn on any flags for multiplayer.

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    If you could add any reference to this, it would really add to your answer.
    – Ben
    Oct 30, 2023 at 5:53
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As the other answers have stated: No, summoning NPCs to help with boss fights do not allow people to invade your game.

In order to open your game to invaders, you need to use the Furlcalling Finger Remedy and then also summon someone to join your game (Emphasis mine):

Reveals cooperative and competitive multiplayer signs. Co-op summoning signs will be shown in gold, while hostile summoning signs will be shown in red.

Multiplayer begins when you summon a player from another world through their sign.

So ultimately, you can run around the world with a Finger Remedy active (I don't believe they have an expiration time?), but without summoning someone (friendly or foe), you will not be invaded, because you have not invited multiplayer.

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